Integrated marketing communication is closely aligned to market segmentation in that a market segment serves as the focal point of communication strategies. In essence, when the business wants to hammer home brand or product messages to targeted customers, it does so through a consistent and coordinated communication approach.

Market Segmentation Basics

Market segmentation is one of the first steps in developing a marketing plan. It involves taking an entire target audience and breaking it down into small groups of people with shared traits, values or consumption habits. Ultimately, the goal is to clearly define the typical customer in the targeted group and the overall size of the segment. Shared demographic traits, lifestyle interests and product usage patterns often are the bases for targeting a specific segment.

Targeting and Positioning

Once you identify a given market segment, communication strategies evolve as you develop a positioning strategy targeted specifically to that segment. A positing statement outlines the strategy; it might say something like "We provide the highest-end quality organic fabrics and materials in trendy, customized fashions for the teen to young adult market." This identifies the target of the intended promotional campaign and the main value proposition your company offers this customer base.

Coordinated Messages

Integrated marketing communication revolves around coordinated messages and consistency in delivery. These two criteria are critical to integrated marketing communication. The objective is to coordinate messages delivered through all offline, or traditional, media as well as all online media, including Web ads, social media and email. By repeating similar messages across various media, you have greater potential to read the market and to emphasize a specific value proposition that resonates and motivates buying activity.

Consistent Reinforcement

Consistency is the repetition of messages and ads over the course of a campaign. Not only do you want each integrated message to connect with the targeted market segment, but you want to consistently reinforce core brand messages. This often results from a creative strategy and tag line. "The best a man can get" is a tag line used for years by Gillette razors. By consistently using this tag line in combination with promotions emphasizing quality and the clean cut, Gillette has developed a strong brand reputation for high-end quality.